There are two things I know to be true:
1. I know family is more important than anything else. I didn't always know this. I am fortunate to have a wonderful wife who taught it to me in my 20's, vs. learning it on my death bed, as some do.
2. I know that some of the things I think to be true, probably aren't true. That one's a bit of a mind bender, but it keeps me curious about the world.
That's it for the things I know to be true. There are many things I think to be true.
I think the purpose of life, to the extent that there is one, is to create, and to be happy. To create a family, to create a better world for others, to make 'something from nothing.' Relaxed dinners with lots of conversation and great company make me happy. Many other things do too.
I think humans suffer from a lack of communication, and to the extent that can be resolved, much of human suffering can be too. When the rich live in gated communities away from the poor, when one religion does not tolerate another, when two races do not intermingle, or even speak, then the human psyche hardens to those it cannot understand. Communication, even if forced at first, resolves the world's most painful issues, and it creates environments in which many different types of people get equal chances, like in Egypt recently.
I think organized religion is generally harmful and hurtful when taken as a whole. Humans are imperfect, and religion classifies people into groups which then start having a hard time communicating with those who don't share their beliefs. I'm sure many people will disagree with me on this one. See point #2 above.
I think we are not alone, not only in our universe, but in all of them. Recent scientific discoveries give me hope. Possibly related to that: there may be forces greater than us at work. I like the idea that we temporarily borrow energy to form our beings and then release it back to the cosmos when our time is up. Overall, though, I don't think we as humans have the capacity to understand whatever may be greater than us, so I don't fret over it too much.
I believe at some point in the future the human race will figure out how to bypass many of the physical factors that limit our lifespans, and people will start to live long enough that time will take on a different meaning. People will look back and have a hard time understanding the limiting factors that constrain us today, like old age. I don't think I will live long enough to see this, though, and I'm OK with that. Maybe my kids will, or their kids, and that thought makes me happy.
I believe often people are afraid. They are afraid to be different. They are afraid to be wrong. Afraid to take a chance. Afraid to stand up for what they know is right. Afraid to be the first. And I think that's too bad. I try not to be afraid. It can be hard.
I find that often the best things I accomplish are when I almost gave up. Or right when everyone else has. Just showing up, and then just trying harder than anyone else is one of my most useful tricks.
I also believe there is a cost to everything. And that most people don't realize this. There's a cost to asking for a raise, to having an extra slice of cake, to not spending enough time with your wife... to anything. There's a cost to me spending the time writing this post, and to you for reading it. It's time that's spent and can never be recovered. I try to always make sure the cost is worth it.
I believe the most valuable asset we have is time. It's a diminishing asset and none of us know how much of it we start with. It's a motivating thought.
I think politicians need to learn to say "I don't know." They are dealing with some of the most complex issues on the planet, often with no formal training on the subject. I would trust and respect politicians much more if they didn't pretend to know all the answers and have opinions on everything.
I find that my political views are getting more conservative as I get older. I'm not sure I like that. I used to feel that being conservative was a cop-out. Its easy just to think about yourself. I have a conservative family member who once said "people should get what they deserve." That resonated with me. On the other hand, I'm just not sure that someone who was born addicted to crack because his mother used it would fare too well under that plan. I find myself conflicted about this.
I'd like to know what you think. Let me know in the comments below.